I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil — this is God’s gift to man. — Ecclesiastes 3:12–13
So, not to rub it in for any of you, I saw Mumford and Sons last night. The music was outstanding. The show was phenomenal. Now, I do love the band, but that wasn’t the reason I so enjoyed myself. It wasn’t the fact that they’re incredible performers as well as musicians. No, it’s because they were having the times of their lives up on stage right before my very eyes. They were having a blast. I, therefore, was having a blast. And, in the best way, their albums are ruined for me. The experience was that memorable.
What about us?
Do you enjoy your day job? Do you take pride in your work? If you’re like me, not enough. Maybe you don’t at all, I’m not judging. But, work isn’t a punishment of the Fall. It wasn’t something that came about after the forbidden fruit. God gave Adam and Eve the tasks of cultivating the Garden and subduing the earth. Adam and Eve were pretty hardcore, actually. Somehow, today we no longer view work as essential to our existence. Bane, maybe, but certainly not essential, let alone joyful. This, my friends, is a travesty.
Work has a purpose
God gave us work because it allows us to exercise the God in all of us. It gives us the ability to create, take responsibility and care for the world around us. We need our work to provide a space in our lives to do all this regularly. Otherwise, we become complacent, unfulfilled, lazy. Friends, we’re wasting away. No, we don’t need to all become international rock stars. The solution is far simpler than that.
The heart of work
It’s time we looked at work in a new light. Yes, work is necessary to survive, but as I’ve said, that’s not it’s only purpose, nor it’s most important. How does your job enable you to create today? Maybe all you do is file, but did you know you were creating organization out of chaos? You work at lost luggage, but you’re helping restore order, creating a new state of equilibrium for all those disgruntled customers. In every job, there is an element of creating. The question is: does that method of creating match your heart? Are you creating in a way that you feel (or could feel) proud of?
I’m not a rock star, nor will I likely ever be and I’m alright with that fact. I will probably never be known worldwide and that’s fine. The point is that I’m fulfilled in what I do from nine to five, or eight to four, or whatever shift you may work. The point is that I’m taking pride in what I’ve accomplished each day, because this fulfillment is God’s gift of work. If we are not enjoying, it is either our perspective or this is not the job for us. Only you can answer this. But remember: work is a gift.